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Newspaper Page Text
COCHRAN WRITES AN OPEN LETTER TO OTHER
Victor F.'Lawson, publisher of the Daily News; R. R. McCormick, publisher
of the Tribune; James Keely, publisher of the Herald; John C. Eastman,
publisher of the Journal; Wm. R. Hearst and A. J. Lawrence, publishers
of the American and Examiner, and John C. Shaffer, publisher of the
'$ '' Post, Chicago:
Gentlemen: Every one of you knows that when council adjourned for
the summer there was pending before that body a proposition, made by the
Chicago Telephone Co. and the Illinois Tunnel Co., asking council to give
the city's consent to the purchase by the Chicago Telephone Co. of the au
tomatic telephone plant of the Tunnel Co., and that the matter was de
ferred until October, when council meets again.
Every one of you is familiar with the terms of the franchises granted
to both companies, Including the forfeiture clauses in the telephone grant
to the tunnel company.
You know that if the city gives its consent to this purchase, IT SUR
RENDERS EVERY RIGHT IT HAS UNDER THOSE,, FORFEITURE
CLAUSES. r "
You know that whatever the, phone trust pays "for the automatic, if
the deal goes through, can legally be added to the capitalization of the Chi
cago Telephone Co., and that PHONE RATES' TO SUBSCRIBERS MAY BE
RAISED BY THAT COMPANY SO AS TO MAKE PHONE USERS PAY
BACK TO THE BELL COMPANY "WHAT IT MAY PAY FOR THE AU
TOMATIC. You know that the lawyer-lobbyists" of both interested companies have
been and still are making a fight to persuade council to give the city's con
sent to this deal; and that THERE IS ABSOLUTELY NO CONSIDERATION
OFFERED TO THE CITY FOR THIS CONSENT.
You know that under the forfeiture clauses of the tunn.el franchise all
rights and privileges granted under the telephone part of it, including the
automatic telephone system itself, are forfeited to the city H the company
fails to have 20,000 bona-fide subscribers for the automatic system by June
1, 1911, or if the company sells, pr agrees to sell to any other phone com
pany operating in Chicago.
And YOU know that the tunnel company has entered into an agree
ment to sell, and that it has not 20,000 bona-fide' subscribers and never did
. Notwithstanding all this, and your knowledge of It, you all of you
have ignored this situation and have failed to let your readers know what
a ia going, on.
I know that the Marshall Field estate owns stock in the telephone trust,
and that the Marshall Field store, the American Telephone & Telegraph
Co., the Chicago Telephone Co. and the Commonwealth Edison Co. are big
advertisers and regular advertising patrons of your papers.
But I know that their advertisements in your papers wouldn't be worth
a penny a page if your papers didn't have readers.
I know that your most valuable asset is your readers, and that, primar
ily, every dollar you get for advertising you get because advertisers want
to tell their store news to your readers.
So I think your obligation to your readers is greater than your ob
ligation to any of your advertising patrpns. I knpw ot nojgreater obUgar